Jon Wiener, professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, and a frequent contributor to The Nation, has now put together a collection of his essays on history and politics from the last decade.[1] The volume’s title, Professors, Politics and Pop, is appropriate. It underscores the relation that currently exists between the academy and pop culture under the influence of the radical Left. Professor Wiener’s prose style is itself an illustration of the course that this radical school of American history has taken in the direction of pop writing and what in the Sixties was proudly hailed as the “new journalism.” It is a style in which opinion is often a substitute for scholarship, and ideology rather than historical evidence determines the nature of intellectual inquiry.

Consider, for example, Professor Wiener’s own account of the changes that...

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